Since our last newsletter in February, there has been a flurry of activity at the Hall, in addition to the regular activities and events that take place on any given day here.
As mentioned in the February newsletter, the large maple tree in front of the main entrance was declared unsafe and rotten and, with heavy hearts, the decision was made to remove it. Before that happened, we organized a brief but moving ceremony to honour the tree’s long history on our island with a performance by the Out of Line Dancers and a reading of a poem written by Lisa Webster for the occasion (link to poem). The Hall Board wishes to thank Gabriola Gravel & Excavating for donating their services for the work involved in removing the tree stump and levelling off the surrounding area.
In the meantime, because as we know life goes on, we were thrilled to view the preliminary designs from Architrave Design and Build for the Outdoor Community Gathering Space for which we received a Federal/Provincial grant under the Covid-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream.
The structure has a footprint of approximately 1000 sq.ft. with a curved roof supported by steel beams and with storage and electrical closets located towards the back. The inside of the roof will be a solid wood laminated structure and the exterior will be a living green roof to create continuity with the berm that will run parallel to South Road and which will provide weather and acoustic protection. The design allows for the installation of temporary panels around the performance area and should be flexible enough to adapt to a variety of uses.
We think it’s spectacular and hope you agree!
In keeping with the objectives as set out in the grant agreement, we envisage this space being used in many different ways : community picnics, sports, concerts, lectures, theatre performances, book clubs, markets, art exhibitions, weddings, pop-up cafes, etc. etc. Our volunteer project manager, Graham MacDonald, wisely compares the building to a Swiss Army knife in that it can be used for multiple purposes but it probably won’t meet all the wishes and preferences of any one user group. Not all the features may make it into the budget at this time but the design will accommodate their incorporation at a later date as funds become available. Once the plans are finalized and costed, we plan on inviting the community to view the design and join in the excitement for the Lund Gathering Place, as it will now be known.
On to other matters, in the past few months the Hall has been the venue for several important events, including the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale, two performances of the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra, the Museum’s Trivia Night, the Island Singers Spring Concert, the Gabriola Dance Showcase among others.
We are very pleased to welcome Janet Bates as a new board member.
And finally, mark your calendars for the 68th Annual Salmon BBQ on August 12th – it will be here before you know it! We’re always looking for volunteers and donations of auction and raffle items as this is the Hall’s only fundraiser of the year. If you think you can help, please drop us a line. And we’ll let you know when tickets are available on line and at retail outlets.
These are exciting times for your Community Hall!
Joyce Babula, President
On behalf of the Board of Directors